Horner admits grid penalty for Verstappen is “inevitable”

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 29: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner looks on from the pitwall during the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 29, 2021 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Christian Horner thinks that Max Verstappen could not avoid a grid penalty for power unit change this season.

Why it matters: The championship leader currently has the last allowed power unit installed in the RB16B car and taking a new engine will result in a grid drop.


  • Horner believes that Red Bull Racing has 3-4 races to make the power unit change with this weekend’s Russian GP being a likely option.
  • The Red Bull Racing team principal reveals that Verstappen’s British GP power unit cannot be fully repaired.

What he had to say:

  • “It’s inevitable we’re going to need to take a penalty; we’ve probably got a three- or maybe even four-race window in which to do it,” he told RacingNews365.com.
  • “We have the ability to [change the power unit]; whether we will or not will really depend on where we are on Saturday, I would assume, in Sochi. So we’ll make that decision nearer the time.”
  • “Unfortunately, it [power unit damage] in a structural part, so it would be very difficult to do a repair or a cleat on it.”
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